My Bleeding Heart, Examined

IMG_2613So often I don’t know how to start writing. Especially on happy mornings like the one I’m living right now. The girls don’t have school and I laughed when Chris tried to wake us all up. I loved his befuddlement, the way he called out, “Are you up yet?”

Even though we’ve been talking about this long block of hours (5 days!) we have off from school, it didn’t seep fully into his brain. While I poured coffee, I asked if all of us staying up late didn’t clue him in. Yes, he thought it weird, but not weird enough not to flash the hall lights on in hopes of rousing KK and Annie out of bed.

How to write of such simple joys when yesterday small griefs called to me again and again? Why did the past peck at me then? Every old grief felt like a paper-cut on my slowly leaking but still beating heart. I typed to a friend. “My heart actually hurts today.”

At dinner Chris read my horoscope to see if the cause could be attributed to star alignment. Yes! My day was a 4! No wonder I found myself telling my husband about pictures of high school friends vacationing together celebrating 35 years of friendship.

“Why am I not celebrating 35 years of friendship?” I asked.

“Why do they need to post it on Facebook?” asked Chris.

Why do I need to keep looking at Facebook on days that I know I shouldn’t be on Facebook? I wish I had replied with this Rumi quote to him, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

Yesterday I was irritated by every rub but by bedtime my mirror felt newly polished. It was fine and good to fall down the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO!) rabbit hole as darkness played at the edges of our living room. We talked of how I’ve always dreamed of belonging to some larger friendship group, to post those pictures on my Facebook wall. To write on my blog, “I spent the weekend with my oldest friends. We learned to crawl together and on the shores of Lake Tahoe we talked about our teens!”

Although I dream the dream of a sorority of sisters that I call on from every past decade of my life, the truth is something I actually have to dig for. My husband points out I’ve worked hard to find like-minded people to call my friends. I agree that I have and I’ve learned I love quiet nights out or in with one or two or five friends. Sometimes I love to dance at a large party, but really, I don’t love this very often.

I point out how often I’ve been wrong about friendships, though. How they’ve dissolved before my eyes, never for lack of trying to make circles out of squares. How the idea of friendships running their course always breaks my heart in two. And Chris is there to help me make that list of all the people I call friend as I try to put two pieces of heart back together again in one flawed, paper-cut-ridden heart.

Good lorsh, this is why I’m a list maker. As soon as Chris asks me to note all the people who love me that I love back, the bleeding starts to coagulate. And finally I’m noticing how the lamps make circles of light on the now dark walls. Oh, I am home and the house is warm and this man I married carries thread in his pocket to help me stitch myself together again.

Today feels lovely not only because the girls are home from school but because yesterday I dissolved into my red, red heart and really let myself take a good look around.


2 thoughts on “My Bleeding Heart, Examined

  1. This resonates with me. I’ve let some friendships go over disappointments and the feeling like I was giving more than they were. I was left out of some group celebrations of 40th birthdays this year. I spent mine with Rob, someone who brings me more joy than I would have felt, at this stage in my life, to be included in those events.

    I think of several women whose careers I envy, and I realize none of them are in stable relationships. While you might have FOMO over what other people post on FB, they might be envious of something you have too.

    1. Thank you for commenting! And yes, I’m right in that boat with you, lucky my husband is there when I have that FOMO-feeling.

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